Hey my sharks.  Here is this week’s a past article that I wrote for my local newspaper back from 2018 that I feel is still relevant in 2020. I hope you enjoy it.

When I started writing articles for this newspaper, one of my main objectives was to bring attention to things that I felt needed it. Things that sometimes get swept under the rug. Today I want to talk about cyber bullying.

Just like regular bullying, cyber bullying is defined as harassing or tormenting someone through the means of the internet, however traditional bullying normally ends when a student goes home. Cyber bullying can continue all hours of the day.

Did you know that from a recent statistic, 43% of kids admit someone has said mean or hurtful things to them online. More than 4 out 10 say it has happened more than once.

The sad thing is, the accounts of which I have seen it on my social media pages, it’s not just teens doing it. Adults are just as guilty, which is inexcusable. How can they learn to do better when they see adults do it?

Of course with every problem, theoretically there seems to be a solution: Just tell your parents or a trusted adult, but not everyone takes it seriously. “It’s just a joke, don’t be so hurt.” or “just get over it.” could be some possible responses. Only 1 in 10 victims will inform someone of their situation, likely to avoid those responses. Even then, it’s not guaranteed the problem will go away. I can’t tell you how easy it is to just make a new account on social media platforms, and then find whoever you are looking for, even if they blocked you.  What do you do then? As you can see, this leads down a negative road really quickly.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death for teens.

So why do people think cyberbullying is even okay to begin with? Maybe the fact that they don’t have to be face to face with the person.

“Students feel comfortable saying things they wouldn’t normally say in person, suggested Mr. Banks, a teacher at Legacy. “Most teenagers have no idea the damage they can cause with their words, and it becomes much easier when you don’t have to face the consequences of meeting with someone face to face.”

I think that is pretty accurate. If you don’t have to see the person, or have the guts to say it, you can just hide behind a screen. You don’t even have to give your name out. The victim will never have to know it was you.

Maybe the thing you said was funny to you, but you have no idea how the victim will react. For all you know, you could’ve left a negative mark on them that they will never forget. Not to mention, maybe you put the person down to feel better about yourself. You can be the most attractive person on the outside, but still have the ugliest personality.

I think it’s time to go back to an old fashioned statement – If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.